Yossi Langotsky, the geologist behind the discovery of the Tamar natural gas reservoir, will lead the new oil exploration project of Gulliver Energy Ltd. (TASE: GLVR) and Shapir Civil and Marine Engineering Ltd. The two companies have notified the TASE that they plan to file an application for an exploration license with the petroleum commissioner in the Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources.
Langotsky, 84, was appointed chief geologist and project manager for the two companies. "In return for his services, Langotsky will be entitled to monthly consultation fees, bonuses that will be paid when drilling in the license area begins and in the event of a discovery, and a royalty on the oil produced in the license area," the two companies stated. Asked by "Globes" about the potential for a new discovery in this license, Langotsky quipped, "The chances are good, because the name of the license is Aya - Tamar's younger sister (the Tamar reservoir is named after Langotsky's oldest granddaughter, S.G.)."
According to the report to the TASE by Gulliver Energy, whose main current activity is oil exploration in Israel, the license are is located in southern Israel, but the companies are disclosing no particulars about it at this time. It was also reported that Shapir Engineering and Gulliver had signed a memorandum of understanding under which they would own the new license in equal shares if it is approved by the Petroleum commissioner.
For Shapir Engineering, a veteran infrastructure company with little experience in oil exploration, the Aya prospect is likely to replace the company's existing 23% share in the Givot Olam license. The Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources is threatening to nationalize this license, located in the area of Rosh HaAyin, this week. Two weeks ago, the Givot Olam partners received a warning from Petroleum Commissioner Yossi Wirtzburger that the holding in the vicinity of Rosh HaAyin would be canceled if the Petroleum commissioner's requirements for the presentation of a development plan and refinancing plan by April 10 were not met.
Shapir Engineering asserts that its involvement in the Aya license is unrelated to its holding near Rosh HaAyin, and fits in with its strategy of expansion in the energy sector. Shapir Engineering is the official franchise holder for the distribution of natural gas to enterprises in the central region through its Super NG Natural Gas Distribution Company subsidiary.
Shapir Engineering began oil exploration over six months ago, when it acquired 10% of the Givot Olam partnership, with an option to acquire 15% more. The company exercised this option a few months later. The oil potential in the area is estimated in the hundreds of millions of barrels, but the Givot Olam partnership, which has been drilling there in recent years, has managed to produce only very small quantities of oil from it.
"Globes" recently reported that a group of businesspeople headed by former Minister of Energy Moshe Shahal, including former Israel Corporation CEO Nir Gilad and veteran gas exploration entrepreneur Gideon Tadmor, were interested in the rights to drill for oil in the Givot Olam prospect
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 9, 2018
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